Tuesday, May 29, 2007

New Camera!!

Thank goodness our camera died around Memorial Day because there were lots of sales going on so we found a new camera at a great price!

I took some pictures of my flower beds at 10:00 last night:
I love these Lilies. Every year they get bigger and better!

See this plant? Fern bought some of these for my boys. My dad looked at it and said "that is a decorative tobacco plant". Good job Fern!

Today Carson was so excited to wear the shirt Sam brought back from Indiana. He told his friend: "I LOVE my Indiana 005 shirt!" Oh boy, Mike and Kim would not be proud!!!

Here is Carson showing off his strange flower that I bought for him. He calls it his "jellyfish flower". CREEPY!
Can you see the bruise on Carson's forehead? He was at McDonald's playland on Saturday morning and bonked another kid's head and a nice goose-egg was the result. At least for once it's Carson getting hurt and not Parker! Parker made up for it by falling head over feet down our stairs on Sunday morning. I had to chuckle a little (I know, I'm a mean mom) because he was holding a car in each hand when he fell and wouldn't let go of them, now THAT was awesome!

And finally, my lavendar bush is just starting to bloom. I can't believe how huge this bush is getting. Does anybody know if you are supposed to divide these?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Green Pictures...

As I've mentioned earlier, my camera has a terminal disease...it turns everything green. But, I'm pretty excited about my latest success so if you can endure the sickly photos, I'll tell you about it!

With the help of my good friend, Cathy Gilmore, I have successfully made artisan bread. The process of making this one loaf took about 24 hours. First you make a starter, which ferments for several hours. Then, you use some of your starter and add some yeast, flour, and water. This becomes what is called a "sponge". The sponge sits overnight and then next day you use the sponge and add yeast, flour, and salt to turn it into bread dough. Each step is kind of scary because you have to get the consistency just right. Sam bought me a kitchen scale for Christmas and it came in handy for this bread. Instead of measuring cups of flour, Cathy weighed it so it was more precise. Good thing too because had we gone strictly by cups of flour, we would have put almost a cup too much in the sponge!

After you let the dough rise, you shape it into a round ball and lay it on a tea towel covered in flour. Then you wrap the towel around the dough, coating it with tons of flour, and put it all in a small bowl to raise again. Here is a photo of this step:

After it is done raising, you invert it onto a paddle. Then you put some fancy shallow slices into the top of the loaf and slide it onto a baking stone. I had 2 bread pans in the oven with water in them to create a humid environment. After baking for about 45 minutes at 425 degrees, here is what I had:

It was crunchy/chewy on the outside and full of yummy flavor on the inside!

Now I need to make this bread by myself, without Cathy there to lead me each step of the way! Wish me luck!

Here are a few other random shots:
My neighbor gave me some cupcakes the other day. I gave one to Parker, and he promptly tripped and dropped his outside on the cement. I went inside to get him another cupcake and when I came back outside he was licking the cement clean! Those were some GOOD cupcakes!!!

On the DVD of "Madagascar" there is a music video to the song "I like to move it, move it". My kids LOVE to watch it over and over and over again. They also like to dance to it, but only if they don't think I'm watching. But, they should know...I'm a mom, I'm ALWAYS watching!

Finally, I found an ad for a completely insane product so I had to share!

Sam comes home tomorrow night. I'm so happy! He's been gone since last Saturday and I've missed him! Parker keeps saying "Where is daddy? Is he at work or church?" No matter how many times I tell him he's in Indiana, he doesn't get it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Not A Lot

Not a lot has been going on, PLUS my camera is 99.4% dead so I haven't had much to blog about lately...

After reading Amelia's blog my life seems real boring, but this is what I've been up to:

Sam is in Indiana helping Mike and Kim finish an addition to their house. He left on Saturday morning (barely made the flight because he lost his license) and he won't be home until this coming Saturday night. He's having tons of fun, which is great! I miss him (especially yesterday in Sacrament meeting, Parker was being difficult!) but I'm so glad he's helping out the "Indiana Clark's"!

My yard is looking AWESOME, but my camera won't take pictures of it, so use your imagination. ha ha ha. Here are some pictures that actually semi-worked.

I made banana bread the other day. Parker has almost inhaled a whole loaf. I didn't even know he liked it, nor did I know that he even knew what banana bread was! Right after I pulled it out of the oven, he said very clearly "mom, can I have some banana bread?" Cutie.

My visiting teacher, Emily Maughan, just delivered her second child on Saturday. I was able to watch her daughter while she was in the hospital. I forget that there are calm children in the world until I watch somebody else's kids! This little girl was so awesome. She quietly watched my boys act crazy. Check out this picture. She is in focus because she was holding still. Parker had ants in his pants! She had bright blue eyes like Parker. They should get married one day! :)

On Friday, Carson "made" his own lunch. I heard lots of laughter and went to see what he had done. Parker said "Carson's ketchup is crying!!" SsSsSsSsSsick!!!

I planted my flower pots the other day but they look weird due to the dying camera, but here you go:

Tonight I have been listening non-stop to Parker's duck whistle (thanks a lot Fern!). He blows it and it sounds like a dying duck. I think the duck might actually die tonight and I'll have to bury it.

For dinner I made Baked Ziti. Very good, but not very good for you! Lots of cheese, pasta, and Prego baked together. MmMmM good. This picture makes it look frightening but it was actually very tasty.

That's about it. I warned you that not a lot was happening here so maybe your lives are more interesting. Why don't you prove it to me by doing some blog updates! :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

I'm Tired!

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all you women out there who live up to the "motherly" expectations of this day.
For the rest of US, at least you didn't have to cook dinner or clean up afterwards! Well, hopefully you didn't have to....

Parker gave me a great mother's day present today: I was holding him this morning and before I knew it, he shoved his finger up my nose so hard that I got a bloody nose! And then he had the nerve to cry about it!

Just for the record, my mom DOES live up to the expectations of a wonderful mom and she is proving to be quite the grandma as well, so I'm double lucky!

Oh yeah, Spiderman 3 was really cheesy so if you like the cheese-factor, you'll love this movie. Just so you know, I don't like cheese unless it's melted on my breakfast burrito...or a grilled cheese sandwich...or lasagna--oh yeah, lasagna is good eatin!

We've had a busy Saturday/Sunday!

I woke my poor family up at 6:30am on Saturday so we could go buy our summer flowers and get them planted before it got too hot. I'm so glad we did because now that project is out of the way and I can enjoy the hot days from inside my air conditioned house!!
We planted petunias and geraniums in all our flower beds. I seem to stick to those two kinds of flowers every year, but they are so pretty in full bloom so "why fix what isn't broke?"

I'll take more pictures when they are bigger...

Saturday night we had a ward Talent/No Talent show. It was a blast! For my talent I made monster cookies...Sam took a picture of the dough...yumma! Sometime you'll have to ask Sam what kind of candy is in monster cookies. His explanation will leave you wondering "who is Reese?" Trust me, just ask him!

Many of you know how inventive my husband is. He rigged a pulley system for our garbage can so when we throw out diapers I don't have to walk down the stairs, into the garage, to throw out the diaper. I just pull a string, the garbage can lid opens, and I throw the diaper in! Well, on Saturday he decided to move the garbage can from the side of the garage to the back of the garage. Not to worry though, he re-rigged the pulley for me! Check it out!!

Parker still has a crazy rash. My neighbor said she thinks it's "Fifth Disease" or I guess it's also called "Slapped Cheek syndrome". Apparently it's not serious, but it will take a little time to wear off. It's a virus he got from somebody sneezing on him. Maybe I'll quit laughing at Carson's germ-phobia because after all, he didn't get a rash!!

My camera is in the process of a slow death, so even though this picture is kind of weird, I think it is sooo cute! My feet were killing me so Parker was giving me a foot massage! That's my boy!

Today we had a delicious dinner at my parents house, steak on the grill...oh it was dreamy good. There was not one piece of fat on my steak so my dad was quite proud of me that I ate every bite! Sam was in charge of dessert and he made the most incredible fruit pizza ever!! Check it out!!

Here is the recipe for the fruit pizza:

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Mix in egg. combine the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Press dough into an ungreased pizza pan. I had parchment paper under the dough for easy removal.
Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla until light. Spread on cooled crust.
Arrange desired fruit on top of filling.

1/2 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

In a saucepan, combine sugar, salt, corn starch, orange juice, lemon juice and water. Cook and stir over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat, and add grated orange rind. Allow to cool, but not set up. Spoon over fruit. Chill for two hours, then cut into wedges and serve.

Friday, May 11, 2007

A Little Bit Of This, A Little Bit Of That...

Where did this past week go?? It's been really busy, but not "blog-worth busy". Unless you want me to talk about how glad I am that Lakisha was voted off as well as Billy Ray Cyrus...

Well, here's a little insight into my week:

Carson and Parker are still obsessed about the movie "Cars", even though it's been out for about a year. Sam found these fun toy cars and my boys have been having a blast with them! Parker sleep with them, jumps on the trampoline with them, and carries them to the store with him! Simple pleasures are the best!

Parker has developed a horrible rash all over his body. When I called the doctor's office, they asked a few questions and said it's a fluke and should be gone within 2 weeks. In the meantime, he looks so sad because his face looks really sunburnt and splotchy!

Here are some pictures Carson took the other night as they were playing on the trampoline. I really like the picture of himself. SCARY!:

I had my visiting teachers come over the other day. We were talking about perspective and not getting upset about things that don't really matter. Between my 2 visiting teachers and myself, there were 5 children playing in my backyard during this lesson. As we finished, we went outside and the 5 kids had picked all my "snowballs" off my snowball bush as far up as they could reach! I was laughing so hard and said: Good thing we had that lesson about putting things into perspective! The bush will bloom again next year!! haa haa haa!

Yesterday Carson had his Kindergarten Testing - which I don't really know what that means, but I'm guessing they want to be sure he learned something this year. Here is Carson's "worried look" right before we went to his school. Notice his "lucky necklace"? The teacher didn't give me much feedback after the test except "he did fine and knew the answers". So, watch out 1st grade, here he comes!

And finally, I could tell Carson was sneaking up behind me yesterday while I was working so I turned around and he had the camera ready. Here is my "what are you doing" expression.

I don't have pictures for this, but I have all my spent tulips cut down, my flower beds are all full of composted manure, and I'm ready to do my summer planting. Guess what I'll be doing on Saturday? Yep, I'll be planting flowers. If anybody is bored, come over and say "hi" because I'm sure I'll be hot and ready for a break! :)

Tonight I'm going to see Spiderman 3 with Sam. Has anybody seen it? Is it hard to understand? I don't like being confused at the movies, as many of you know!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Big Day for Parker!

I bought Parker's first pair of flip flops yesterday. Aren't they so little and cute?!

I put them on his feet and he took one step, the shoe went flying, and he FREAKED out and threw himself on the ground crying. It was quite the temper tantrum. So Carson and I put our flip flops on and started walking back and forth in front of him. When he saw that we had achieved the impossible, he said "I want my flip flops on" in a really sad/mad/pitful/defiant voice. I put them back on his feet and he managed to walk around the living room pretty good. Well, "pretty good" might be bragging a little. To be perfectly honest, he looks like Frankenstein with really bad arthritis when he walks, but at least he keeps them on his feet!

This morning he woke up and the first thing he said was "I want my flip flops on!" So here he is, in all his stars and stripes glory (Nalani, you may feel the need to pledge allegiance to his pj's) with his new shoes on. Kids are always good for a story!!